Saturday, January 30, 2010

Next Step Finished

Both figures are shaded and ready for their sketched outlines.

For a miracle, even though I haven't done any pen-and-in work in years and years, I found my dip pen in the first place I looked. I also discovered that I already have some acrylic glazing liquid, even though I don't remember buying it and couldn't really tell you exactly what it is...

TWO good omens for one project? I'll take them!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Making Progress

I got my main figures sketched in and gessoed. I really like the cool toned one.

I have already started the shading on this warm toned one.  When this is dry, I will be ready to add the "reverse sketch" with liquid pencil. I've been playing around with it a little to get a feel for it, though I can't really say that the effect is all that different from regular acrylic paint. It is an interesting medium, but I don't think the little pots are worth the price I paid.  Oh well, live and learn.

It feels so good to have made so much progress in such a short time. I can feel my old sense of Fear of Ruining a Good Thing setting in, but I am *determined* to push through.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Of Paints and Purges

I always thought that a huge studio with unlimited storage space would make me happy. Lately though, I find that my stash of supplies has become more of a burden than a source of inspiration, and I also realize that, as I have gotten older, I am much less driven to "dabble" and join in on "the next new thing" -- I want to dig deeper into the processes and techniques that I really know that I enjoy. I have been making a mental inventory of the art activities that thrill me the most, and getting rid of supplies that no longer fill my need to create. Oh, the space!

The one activity that I keep coming back to is painting.  This is my little painting room.  Though it is only about 8' square, it has a large walk-in closet where I can store things that don't need to be immediately available, and that big window faces nearly due north and provides wonderful light even on dreary days. My favorite bonus is that it overlooks the field where the calves come out to play - it is a wonderful place to hide out.

Right now I am working on a pair of canvases I intend to display as a pair. I am using a project tutorial from a back issue of "Cloth Paper Scissors" that introduces Liquid Pencils. (OK, so Liquid Pencil is a new thing for me... it is still painting, LOL!)

Both of the canvases got a little more pigment on them than I originally intended (you can barely see the collage papers underneath all the layers,) but I am happy with the way they turned out.

I used "Gold Opal" glaze on this warm toned one for the lighter area in the center, so the reflection made it a little hard to photograph. If you look close you can see the beginnings of a figure sketched in the center. It took me several tries to find an implement that would make a mark on the painted surface, and I ruined several Sharpies in the process. (Does anyone know why??) A regular gel ink pen is the only thing I found that will leave a visible mark. Fortunately I am going for a "sketchy" look, so the fact that I can't remove the marks won't matter too much.

I'm not brave enough yet to paint without an undersketch. I am open to suggestions for other tools that will leave a *visible* mark and yet can still be removed.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Photo of the Week - "My Favorite Coffee Cup"

I have dozens of coffee cups, but this is the only one I use. I boought it from a potter at an Art Faire a few years ago, and it is absolutely perfect. Here is sits in its native habitat, on the work table next to my corner of the couch.

I would be lost without my coffee, so you can only imagine how much MORE lost I would be without my darling morning-person husband, who gets up an hour before I do and has a cup waiting for me every morning. (Needless to say, I am *not* a morning person!)  He even lets me drink the first cup without saying a word. Ahhhhhh... a jewel among men.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Photo of the Week - "Shadows"

This week's theme caused me no small amount of stress! I wanted to do something outside, but it has been so dark and rainy - alas, gray skies cast no shadows.
I thought about doing something with candles or a flashlight, but then this photo came along and I realized that I had been worrying a lot over nothing because it all came together in the end.

My daughter Alice represented Marion County this past weekend in the Oregon State Dairy Princess-Ambassador competition.  The theme was "Saturday Night at the Movies" and each young woman was introduced with a spotlight walk down a red carpet.  Talk about shadows!

I am so proud of her.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Slell Slice, chapter 1

I gave myself a kick in the pants last night to get going, mix up some clay, and start sculpting on that cool shell slice Linda sent me. My plan is to fill in each opening with a face, each with a different expression and gazing in different directions. I began by filling in the back of the slice with clay so that I would have a sturdy base to work on, then, beginning at the top, I started sculpting faces, baking in between each one. Each of these three is completely sculpted as even the largest one is too small to use even my tiniest beads as eyes.

So far, so good. I am especially happy with the color of clay I mixed up as it blends nearly perfectly with the shell. One half a bar each of Fimo Soft in Light Flesh, White, and Translucent combined into exactly the delicate pink shade I was looking for. ( I don't often get my colors mixed right on the first try -- woo hoo!)

I want to use some bead eyes in the next face. I have some great little malachite rounds that will make wonderful green eyes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Photo of the Week - "Something New"

Ack!  What has happened to Blogger?  OK, so let's see if I can figure this out...

OK, photos are up.  Oh my, this is different.  Anyway... our challenge this week was to photograph "something new" so I am sharing my very favorite kind of new thing - new art supplies!  (Picture me rubbing my hands together, grinning maniacally... LOL!)

These shells were sent to me by my good online friend Linda (oh wow... another new thing and that was so easy!) for no other reason than that she is a wonderful person doing something wonderfully nice.  I don't know whether it's more fun to fiddle with the little bumps on the sea urchin or stroke the beautifully glassy inner survace of the little spiral shell - they are so much more beautiful in real life than in this photo.  The cut-away shell is already designated for another sea spirit project.  Now I just need to work up the courage to get started.

I picked up these little canvases last weekend on a whim because they are irrisistably cute. I wish I had put something else in the photo to indicate scale - they are *very* tiny. Now I just have to think of something to do with them.

I think my very favorite part of being an artist is buying new art supplies, LOL.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Monday Photo of the Week

A new year begins, and with it a new Photo of the Week Challenge. Our format will be a little different this year as members of our group will take turns selecting a challenge theme for any given month. I am SO grateful because by the end of the year I had run out both of ideas and the energy to work at it.

We are still on our own this first week, so rather than agonize over choosing "just the right thing" to photograph, I grabbed my camera and walked into my studio to see what I could find. I am tickled to share this little pile of taxidermy eyes of various sizes and species that I picked out for my Christmas stocking stuffer last month. Oh, the possibilities!

I have been avoiding going into my studio lately as the room has become nothing but a dumping ground for things that needed a temporary home over the holidays, and as you can see, my work table is still a catastrophe.

I love the holidays, but I am more than ready to get back to a normal-ish routine. Here's to a creative New Year!